10 Military Domestic Effects
#1. PRODUCTIVITY. High military spending deprives the manufacturing sector of scientists, engineers, and capital, reducing economic growth and job growth proportionately. In wartime this negative effect is often offset by not taxing for it and running a federal deficit instead.
#2. CRIME. High military spending drives up the crime and murder rates proportionately. Indirectly, the depressed economy leads to higher crime, directly, crime is higher around military bases, and wounded vets with PTSD have higher suicide, divorce, mental illness, and crime rates.
#3. INEQUALITY. High military spending leads to income inequality. Military industry jobs pay one third more than similar jobs in normal private industry. Military pay and benefits increased 72% in the decade that began with 9-11 while private industry pay dropped 14%.
#4. DECLINE. High military spending causes the decline of empires. Arnold Toynbee’s analysis shows that 23 of 25 empires studied declined because of high levels of military spending.
#5. POLITICS. Those representing areas of high military spending dominate the political leadership of America. As measured by per capita military spending, while equal populations live in states above or below the line, the high military spending states have about 80% of the supreme court, leadership in congress, presidential cabinet, and presidents since World War II, a four to one advantage coming from a high military spending state.
#6. REGIONAL. Of the four major regions of the United States, the manufacturing heartland of the Great Lakes region Midwest is by far the lowest in military spending, about 60 percent below the average. Congress favors the financial military coastal regions of America over the manufacturing heartland. Bailing out the banks was much easier than bailing out the auto companies.
#7. SOCIAL MOBILITY. Once considered a classless society, America has become much less socially mobile than Europe, Japan and other developed nations, especially since 1980 when the empire mentality became firmly entrenched in the American economy and culture.
#8. HEALTH. While America has the worst mental health, obesity, and teen birth rates in the developed world, the correlation on these is much worse with long term military spending (.79) than income inequality (.67) among the 22 nations studied in the book Spirit Level. We also pay twice as much for our health care as other developed countries who have about one third our military budget percentage of the economy.
#9 PRISONERS. With 5% of the world’s population we have 25% of the world’s prisoners. We doubled the people in prisons in the nineties while crime rates were cut in half by the post Cold War lowered military spending rates. The fear based culture of militarism has entrenched extreme attitudes in America, as imprisonment becomes the new racism with ten times the lock up rates of whites.
#10 PRESS FREEDOM. As the national security state controls the press, we have much lower press freedom than Canada, Japan, and Northern Europe according to Reporters Without Borders.
For more detailed information about these ten points, try the following four articles on my academic website:
MILITARY ECONOMY SUMMARY (one page):
EMPIRE ECONOMICS, award winning presentation, five pages:
MILITARY ECONOMY BOOKLET (24 pages):
CRIME (3 pages):
Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein,
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